Recently, I attended the 2015 Louisiana Harley Owners Group rally at the Ike Hamilton Expo Center in West Monroe, Louisiana. Now before you go thinking I’m way cooler than I am, realize that I attended as the guest of my wonderful husband, Norm. It was actually my first motorcycle rally, and I must say, I can see why these men and women feel the need to drive a steel pony. I’m not really an adrenaline nut – alpine skiing is about the craziest thing I do, and somehow I don’t think sliding down a mountain is quite as dangerous as sitting on the back of a motorcycle – mere inches from the concrete – with cars and trucks whizzing by. That being said, in spite of my normally staid activities, I had a blast. (No exclamation point necessary: This isn’t junior high school.) Maybe Norm will be having more company on the back of his Hog in the future.
Thursday was awash because it was only registration day, but Friday evening, we walked around the venue and looked at the interesting wares of the vendors. As I said before, I’m not really a motorcycle mama, but window shopping is always something I enjoy. Norm found two very lovely rings, and though he offered to buy me one, I politely refused. We also found a couple of new patches for his vest. One signifies his service to our country during the Vietnam Era. The other commemorates this year’s rally.
That evening we heard live music by West Monroe band Knucklestone and stand-up comedy from the Road Dogs Rock and Roll show. Rock and roll? Sign me up!
On Saturday – the final day of the rally – we started early by watching the bike games. My favorite was the performance by local policemen – they could very adeptly maneuver their bikes through all kinds of obstacle courses. (Dare I say better than the “ordinary” drivers?)
We took a ride to lunch and the Bleu Bayou Harley Davidson in Monroe, Louisiana. There we ran into Adam Sandoval and his Chihuahua Scooter. Interesting story….
Adam sold all of his possessions (except for his bike and his dog) and hit the road to raise money for the children of fallen soldiers. He plans to ride to every Harley dealership during the course of the next year, along with his trusty sidekick Scooter.
By the time he reached Monroe, Louisiana, he had ridden 20,000 miles and had raised over $50,000. I had a nice conversation with him, and even got to pet Scooter, until he (Scooter, not Adam) curled back his lip. Adam assured me that Scooter meant no harm; that he just gets a little cranky when tired. Don’t we all?
Smokin’ Joe Kubek and Bnois King entertained the masses with a bluesy rock line-up at the dealership while fresh, homemade jambalaya was served to the crowd by Catfish Charlie’s, a local eatery in Monroe.
Saturday evening, we returned to West Monroe for more live music – Southern Rock band 38 Special closed out the rally. Though Southern Rock was never my thing, the band performed brilliantly, if you’re into the rock and roll thing, which I am. Yes, I am a middle-aged rocker.
And maybe now a middle-aged rocker biker. (?)
Music, food, riding, and companionship. Things could be worse.